Morning News Digest: Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christie jokes about Hudson Republicans

U.S. Attorney Chris Christie has been talking a lot about his corruption-busting track record these days, having announced he's resigning next month. (The Jersey Journal)

Christie reflects – and deflects

Outgoing U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie will depart in two weeks proud of the national reputation his office has garnered in its war on corruption, but harboring no illusions that the job is done. (Peter J. Sampson, The Bergen Record)

Town debt to be deferred under a plan of Corzine's

In a move aimed at avoiding big property tax increases during the economic downturn, Gov. Jon Corzine today will offer municipalities a half-billion-dollar break on their payments into the state pension system, an administration official said last night. (Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

Budget worries lead to rifts at League of Municipalities convention

Frustration over tough budget times spilled over today at the normally placid League of Municipalities Convention in Atlantic City, where a critic of Gov. Jon Corzine provoked a testy exchange with members of the Cabinet. (Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

New homeland security bill can limit waterfront access

P eople who like to stroll along the Hudson River walkway or launch their kayak in uptown Hoboken might have to find some other weekend hobbies if the New Jersey State Senate passes a controversial homeland security bill. (Carly Baldwin, The Jersey Journal)

Report singles out state plant as most unsafe

WASHINGTON — Five New Jersey chemical plants are among the nation's 101 most "dangerous" facilities because terrorist strikes or innocent accidents could release poisonous gases killing or harming millions of people, says a report issued Wednesday. (Gannett)

Merkt calls for Wilson's resignation

In a statement issued Wednesday morning, GOP gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Richard A. Merkt (R-Mendham) called on Republican State Committee Chairman Tom Wilson to resign his post immediately “in the best interests of the party.” (

Bryant conviction could spur ethics bills

Some would-be reformers are eyeing the conviction of former State Sen. Wayne R. Bryant as an impetus to tighten ethics rules in a state where change usually comes slowly and reluctantly. (Jonathan Tamari, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Pension credits under scrutiny

The conviction of former Sen. Wayne Bryant rang the alarm on public-sector attorneys who sent subordinates to perform their work, a practice the defense argued was common throughout New Jersey. (Trish G. Graber, Gloucester County Times)

Corzine leads Christie in poll on '09 governor race

Gov. Jon Corzine leads Republican Christopher Christie in the 2009 race for New Jersey governor, according to a poll taken before either man has officially declared himself a candidate. (Associated Press)

Hipp leaves door open to Assembly run

Speculation persists in Republican circles that Rutherford Mayor John Hipp would make a good assembly candidate, but Hipp has not been privy to it. (

Dems win control of Monmouty County freeholder board

Democrats will hold the majority on the Monmouth County freeholder board for the first time in 23 years. (Associated Press)

Frustration bubbles over as local and state officials discuss budget

ATLANTIC CITY — The state's dismal financial situation and new affordable housing regulations were the dominant topics at two sessions local government officials had with key players in the Corzine administration and Legislature on Wednesday. (Gannett)

Orange council rejects raises, retroactive pay

Fearing the depth of Orange's budget crisis, a majority of the city council voted to reject a negotiated $585,000 wage increase with the municipal firefighters' union, and a new police labor pact with retroactive pay. (Kevin Dilworth, The Star-Ledger)

Hawkins runs early into hard edge of Orange

ORANGE – In the city a little over a year, young Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., ran as the Obama of Orange – a new messenger intent on change in the wake of another public man’s wreckage. (

State gas prices drop below $2

TRENTON (AP) — Gasoline prices in New Jersey continue to drop as Garden State residents prepare to hit the roads for the holiday. (Associated Press)


Program to boost parochial schools

CAMDEN — The Diocese of Camden on Wednesday announced a new partnership meant to ensure the survival of five parochial schools in the Camden area. (Jim Walsh, The Courier-Post) Morning News Digest: Thursday, November 20, 2008